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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spring Fever and other distractions to life in general

Just in time for a cold front to come through.  That's okay, though.  I still have a bunch of long-sleeved shirts in my drawer and my weather-obsessed husband promised it won't get to freezing tomorrow.  Occasionally, I am somewhat practical enough to dress appropriately and make sure we have clean clothes and things to eat.

Ah, well.  I was sitting with hubby at lunch today and something told me to check my notebook.  There was a time when the little spiral-bound pages were my life line.  When Dad fell ill in 2001, I had to take care of all their finances, arrange care for Mom and travel a third of my life for my work.  Did I mention I was 45 minutes away from my folks?  I HAD to write everything down, doctor's appointments, grocery lists, phone numbers (I'm soooo low tech, I rarely have my cell phone on) and the huge list of Things to Do.  I don't get everything in the notebook now, though I do have lists of books read, needlework projects in various stages of completion and movies seen recently.  I really hate it when I can't dredge up a title or remember so and so's cell phone number, so this is a God-send.  And during the early Aughts, I was averaging four hours of sleep a night, meaning most days if you'd asked me for my phone number, I'd draw a blank. 

But, when I checked the list of doctor appointments today, I almost started crying.  I'd missed a doctor's appointment yesterday afternoon!  Totally flaked it--wasn't even home if they'd called, which they didn't.  The funny thing was, my husband got two calls reminding him of his dental appointment yesterday, one Friday and one Monday.  When I got home, I called and apologized profusely.  I told the woman I'd make a big sign and put the rescheduled appointment on our door, which I did. 

So, should I blame Spring Fever?  Early-onset Alzheimer's?  Lack of sleep?  Does it even matter?  In my novel, my hero (who's not always a very nice man) takes advantage of the heroine's sleep-deprived mind.  Two of the sisters comment about having to be "the responsible one."  Like they would, I felt bad that I wasted an appointment that someone really sick might have needed. 

There were many times over the past five years I've been "distracted" by my fictional characters and their world.  I'd take something that happened and obsess about how I would use it in one of my story lines.  How dare real life interfere with my imagination!  I have to admit, even as a child, people would comment about how I seemed to be "in my own little world."  I just have to be in the moment enough, responsible enough, to function and do the practical things a self-employed writer would do, while continuing to write and edit.  Like not forgetting doctor's appointments.............

Monday, March 21, 2011

Princesses redux

I have to laugh at all the TV shows based around weddings and finding someone (though I do watch "Say Yes to the Dress"--train wrecks, you know).  We're coming up on wedding season, waiting for the current crop of bridezillas to make their appearances.  Looking at some of the $$$s spent makes my stomach churn.  I could never feel comfortable paying $40K for a wedding--that's what we paid for our house for heaven's sake!  But, with this culture of The Perfect Wedding, I have to ask:  Are women in danger of thinking our wedding day will be the only day we're special? 

I have several weddings in my fiction.  One thing about the first book in my series is that it's titled "Seven Days," starting on a Monday night and the main characters get married that Wednesday.  Not a traditional romance, in that I found the real story was how they dealt with the next few days.  But, Will and Elizabeth get married in jeans at the hospital's Meditation Chapel in Las Vegas.  He did offer to take her to the chapel where you could get married by the guy in the green alien suit, but they decided to do this instead.  They go back to Indianapolis, her hometown, for the oldest sister's wedding that Saturday.  I'm making that one a major production number, but only touching on some details, because the story happens at the reception after. 

Mary Margaret, the middle sister (yes, they're named after Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice sisters), is horrified when her dad jokes, "How much for you to elope to Vegas, Princess?" 

But, that's what my dad offered.  I'm glad we went ahead and had our small wedding for under a hundred people, because it was the first time in decades two of my uncles were together.  We were married by a judge in an apartment complex's party room.  I found a try-on dress for under $100 that was waltz-length and perfect.  I told my high school buddy to pick out a dress she'd like to wear and that was that.  By the way, Mary Margaret marries in a red dress, since she'd spent the previous four months in Japan, one of the cultures that considers white the color of mourning. 

So, while it's important to hold a ceremony (traditional or same-sex, as I have several gay couples in my fiction) as a celebration and I'm always up for a party, don't you think it's dangerous to focus so much on the wedding?  Shouldn't we worry more about the life and relationship after?  Just sayin'.  Stepping down off my soapbox now.  Thanks for listening and I'd love to hear your thoughts.